The Low Post News

SMU Baylor: College Football Preview

Buffalo-vs-Baylor-liveArt Briles’ 10th ranked Baylor Bears look to start their tenure at McClane Stadium with a win against a June Jones coached SMU squad that finished 5-7 in 2013. Baylor is coming off of their best season in school history, a 10 win season that culminated in a Big12 title, but the Bears fell to Blake Bortles and UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. Star quarterback Bryce Petty returns for a potent Baylor offense that led the nation in scoring a year ago. Baylor also returns leading receiver Antwan Goodley and 900 yard rusher Shock Linwood.

Because of the Bears’ up-tempo offensive style, the defense will be on the field a lot during games, so they will always be looking for quick stops and turnovers. In an offensively loaded Big 12, the Bears will look to outscore the majority of their opponents, a feat that should be easily accomplished by Petty and Co. Most expect Baylor to compete for another Big 12 title, their main competitor being Bob Stoops’ 4th ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

Baylor plays Oklahoma in Norman on November 8, a game that could decide the fate of the Big 12 and have huge national title implications, as both squads are considered strong candidates to make the College Football Playoff. The Mustangs will likely be a similar team to what they were in 2013, with an exciting air-it-out offense and a mediocre defense. SMU hopes to be a bowl eligible team this year and could be an outside contender in the weak AAC if their replacements for their key departures, including QB Garret Gilbert, can play well in Jones’ air-raid offense.

Keys to the Game

–          Baylor

  • The Bears’ offense will look to light up the scoreboard in Waco against an inferior SMU team. As long as Petty is on the field, Baylor should score points. Look for their defense to create turnovers against an unproven SMU squad.

–          SMU

  • SMU is without a doubt going to have their hands full in stopping the Bears’ offense, so if they have any outside chance of keeping this game close the Mustangs are going to have to score… a lot.

No key injuries to date

Line/Odds: Baylor by +30 points

Under Briles, Baylor has gone from perennial Big 12 bottom-feeder to national title contender. It will be interesting to see how the Bears handle the added pressure of being in the national spotlight week-in and week-out. On Sunday night Baylor will try to prove they belong in the playoff conversation by easily defeating the Mustangs.

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